French president names mix of faces to left-right government

New French President Emmanuel Macron waves to supporters after a ceremony at the Arc of Triomphe following his formal inauguration ceremony as French President Sunday

French president names mix of faces to left-right government

Macron served as a minister in former president Fran├žois Hollande's cabinet, and much of his support comes from the center-left Socialists - and there's speculation that many will decamp and run under the En Marche! banner.

They arrived smiling Thursday, briefly posing for photographs on the front porch of the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris.

Macron, who trounced far-right anti-EU leader Marine Le Pen in the election, urged a "historic reconstruction" of Europe to battle the populism sweeping the continent and widespread disillusionment with the bloc.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would welcome new French President Emmanuel Macron with an open mind at a meeting on Monday, aiming to reinvigorate the Franco-German relationship and the troubled European project that it underpins.

Center-right Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, whom Macron tapped named Monday, is to lead the government at least until the elections.

But Macron's office said the government line-up would not be unveiled until 3:00pm (1300 GMT) on Wednesday.

Muriel Penicaud, the new labor minister, previously worked for food corporation Danone and French telecommunications group Orange.

Macron is the conservative Merkel's fourth French president in almost 12 years as chancellor.

Germany is looking to Macron to revitalize France as an economic power and political heavyweight in an European Union facing complex divorce proceedings with Britain.

A source close to Macron said he would seek to convince Merkel to back his "protection agenda" for Europe which includes a "Buy European Act" and regulations to prevent strategic firms from falling into non-European hands. He has since 2001 been major of Lyon - France's third biggest city.

But the economic portfolios won by the ministers from the centre-right Les Republicains party will further worry a left which already fears the liberalizing measures promised by Macron.

Merkel and Macron want to kick-start ties with an alliance some German media have dubbed "Merkron", stressing that the European Union is resilient despite Britain's vote to leave and a spate of financial and migration crises that have boosted the far-right across the bloc. But Macron could also be anticipating a Republican wave, and hoping Philippe might still be a palatable choice as prime minister.

Philippe, the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre, is a trained lawyer and an author of political thrillers. Juppe welcomed the move, wishing him good luck and telling reporters Philippe has "all the qualities needed for this hard job".

Previous year he was part of Juppe's unsuccessful campaign team in The Republicans' primaries, and then joined the presidential campaign of Francois Fillon, the party's nominee.

"From the German point of view, it's possible to change the treaty if it makes sense", she said.

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